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Monthly Motor Fuel Reported by States, December 2002 OHPI > MMFR > December 2002 > Motor Fuel Trends


Gasoline Sales

Based on reports of 52 States, gasoline consumption for January - December 2002 changed by 2.8 percent compared to the same period in 2001. /1 During this period, vehicle-miles of travel changed by 1.6 percent.

The gasoline volume shown in this report is a cumulative tabulation of gross volume reported by wholesale distributors to State motor fuel tax agencies. It includes highway use, nonhighway use and losses. There is a lag of up to 6 weeks between the wholesale transactions reported and retail sales to consumers. Travel trends are reported monthly in Traffic Volume Trends based on actual traffic counts at permanent traffic recorders operated by the State highway agencies and, thus, reflect only highway use of fuel. The vehicle-miles reported include all vehicles, regardless of fuel type. While data in both reports reflect changes in trends, large monthly changes can be caused by exceptional weather conditions, variations in timing of holidays, or processing delays.

Motor Fuel Taxation

All States levy volume taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel. The rates in effect for 2002 are shown in Table MF-121T. The gasoline rates vary from a low of 7.5 cents per gallon to 29 cents with an average of 19.1 cents. 4 State(s) provide for full or partial exemptions for gasohol, a blend of 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent fuel alcohol. Diesel fuel rates vary from 7.5cents to 31.8 cents per gallon.

Traditionally, State fuel tax rates could only be changed with legislation, but 10 State(s) now have variable rate motor fuel taxes. These taxes are adjusted at specified intervals-annually, semiannually, or quarterly-usually on the basis of an index or formula specified in the enabling legislation. These States are identified in the notes on Table MF-121T. Adjustments to variable rate taxes are announced by State tax agencies shortly before the effective date of the change. In addition to rate changes under variable rate tax laws, the following rate changes are anticipated through the end of 2003:

IndianaEffective 01/01/2003, the gasoline tax rate will increase to 18 cents per gallon.
KansasEffective 07/01/2003, the gasoline and gasohol tax rate will increase to 24 cents per gallon. The special fuel tax rate will increase to 26 cents per gallon.
MaineEffective 07/01/2003, the gasoline tax rate will increase to 24.6 cents per gallon. The special fuel tax will increase to 25.7 cents per gallon.
New MexicoEffective 07/01/2003, the gasoline and gasohol tax rate will decrease to 16 cents per gallon.
1/ This percentage change is a comparison for those States for which data are available for the report month. However, the percentage increase on the national map is a comparison of cumulative data for all States for which both 2002 and 2003 data are available.

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